Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Vegan By Choice

Being Vegan is not about deprivation. It's about the right ingredients. Being Vegan is not self-torture. It's about preventing torture on a fellow-earthling.

It's now 2 months since I have reduced my footprint of the tyranny. 2 months back I was someone who took pride in the half a liter of milk I consumed everyday. I called it healthy, delicious, required, an obsession. 2 months since, I look back to a Me that I today hope did not exist.

In this brief period, the questions I have been asked by my well-wishers are:

1. I understand meat is death, why milk? Isn't it just sharing resources among the living beings?

First, meat is not just murder. It's death by way of nothing less than a concentration camp. Read how.

Second, milk is not produced by simply and politely milking a cow. Cows, like every other female mammal, produce milk only during and until immediately after pregnancy. Therefore, to keep the milk-flow going, they are artificially impregnated (raped) often. The male calves born, being useless by-products are sent to the slaughter house and the female calves are kept away to ensure that she isn't sucking up the milk produce they worked so hard, to "make".

Cows produce milk just like your mother did and therefore, she does this for her baby and only for her baby. Moreover, if any, it is human milk that our bodies are designed for, which of-course we don't drink after infancy for 2 valid reasons:

- our body doesn't need it 
- our mothers should not be forcibly and repeatedly impregnated for this.

2. But what about Calcium/protein, for you? 

Cow's milk is the number one cause of food allergies in children and this fact clearly explains that human body fights cow's milk. Lactase, the enzyme that works towards digestion of cow's milk, is produced most when humans are less than 2 years old and the production declines thereon- explains that it is unnatural to have milk beyond infancy.

The best sources of calcium are found in açaí, alfalfa sprouts, almonds (234 milligrams per 100 gram serving), apricots, avocados, beans, brazil nuts, broccoli, cabbage, carob, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chickpeas (150 milligrams per 100 gram serving), chlorella, coconut, cornmeal, dandelion greens, dulse, figs, filberts, grains (all), green vegetables (leafy), hazelnuts, hemp (milk/oil/powder/seeds), hijiki sea vegetable (1,400 milligrams per 100 gram serving), kelp, lemon, lentils, lettuce, lucuma powder, maca powder, mango, mesquite powder, millet, miso, nuts, oats, onions, oranges, parsley (203 milligrams per 100 gram serving), prunes, raisins, seaweed, sesame seeds (1,160 milligrams per 100 gram serving), soy (226 milligrams per 100 gram serving), spirulina, sprouts (all), sunflower seeds, watercress, wheatgrass, and yams.

None of these are made from milk. Need more?

Protein- Beans and Tofu (soy-based) are far better sources of protein than any of - milk, yogurt and eggs. How much protein do you really want?

3. What happens to the poor cows if we don't use them for food? They'll be jobless!

This is by far the most ridiculous of the questions that I have come across. But the utter innocence displayed while asking, makes me want to list it here.

Ask yourself- if slavery was the norm today and you the poor slave,

Would you rather not die and not reproduce children, than live a life in shackles where life meant a prison cell and food meant having to be raped? If it meant to have your breast milk sucked out of you only to have your son sent for slaughter (human meat is the most delicious, it's said!) and your daughter made to live in solitude until she hit puberty and then lead a life like yours?

Let Cows not exist if they cannot take care of themselves- to each his own. Only, don't hinder her peace when you can be perfectly healthy without doing that. Don't think you are being noble by enslaving her and calling it 'employment'.

4. Eggs? They're just a chicken's period.

If you've ever seen a commercial poultry, you would have seen and looked away from the plight of these chickens who have don't see sunlight in their entire lifetime. Unless of-course, when even a shed is expensive for profit and a chain does the job.

There are hundreds of them kept in confinements, not even big enough for them to flutter their wings once in a while. Sometimes, if they are lucky they are able to turn a little. Out of frustration most of them begin to beak and hurt each other which is the reason they are de-beaked. Per 'business demands', anesthetics are not used as the costs would be high and the chickens are left bleeding and hurt in the hope that the wound would self-heal. Self heal- it does-eventually.

5. What about pain that plants feel? Environmental impact eating/cutting/cultivating them?

A vegan diet is only an attempt to reduce the extent of harm on other beings. Let's consider for once, that plants feel the exact same or more amount of pain than animals do. This is then, a bigger reason to go vegan!

By eating and consuming animals and animal products, one destroys a lot more plants than what a vegan diet would. When eating animals, humans are at the top of the food chain. We are not only consuming and enslaving the animals, we are also doing this to the great number of plants used to rear this animal for years till slaughter.

A single vegan directly consumes only about one-tenth of the plant material that is either directly or indirectly consumed by a single meat, dairy and egg-eating human. We have fed the now-dead animal a lot more than what we would otherwise directly consume!

Globally, 30% of land area is used for livestock- 70% of amazon deforestation has been done to create grazing-pastures.Now, think about the rain forests that we are always talking about saving, and then clearing them for hamburgers!

6. And the favorite of the non-vegans: Survival of the fittest!

This world is about survival of the fittest- agreed. But never, never defend torture and manhandling of non-human animals as survival of the fittest. You can very well survive and be healthy without misusing another being. What dairy does is not to survive, it is to dictate, rule and enslave.

It is no different from:

- murdering a human for money (both, this and non-vegan food is in the end about getting the luxury of delicious food at the expense of another earthling.)

- raping (both, this and non-vegan food is about desire beyond need and the urge that tempts, can be tamed and controlled. Afterall, we are civilized humans, right?)

The above two are despised by us but how do we not see that both can be defended with the twisted understanding of 'survival of the fittest'- the stronger/wiser gets their desire (need?) met. Why then these double standards when we are all earthlings who deserve to live in a fair world.

Live and Let Live, Once? Maybe? :-)